Skip to main content

Rural Project Examples: Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention

Other Project Examples

Poplar Bluff Skate Plaza
Updated/reviewed April 2020
  • Need: Slow the increasing rates of childhood obesity stemming, in part, from a lack of physical activity.
  • Intervention: Creating a youth-oriented downtown skate park to build a culture of daily physical activity in the rural community of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
  • Results: Increased physical activity opportunities for youth in the far southeast corner of Missouri, especially for those not typically involved in organized sports.
Granville Greenways Walkable Community
Updated/reviewed March 2020
  • Need: Compared to the average North Carolinian, residents age 40 to 64 in rural Granville County were dying from heart disease and diabetes at a younger age.
  • Intervention: Granville Greenways was created to promote active lifestyles and more walkable communities.
  • Results: As of December 2019, 12 miles of greenways now exist allowing for community members' hiking and biking.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Medical Home Plus
Updated/reviewed February 2020
  • Need: To help reduce diabetes, depression, and stroke risk in rural residents.
  • Intervention: A collaborative care model was implemented in the Idaho counties of Clearwater, Idaho, and Lewis.
  • Results: Increased number of patients with controlled blood sugar, controlled blood pressure, and higher depression screening rates.
Albert Lea Blue Zones Project
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Healthy lifestyles are often difficult to achieve for community members of rural, small-town areas.
  • Intervention: The rural community of Albert Lea, as part of the Blue Zones Pilot Project, implemented walking and biking initiatives along with high-level policy systems and environmental changes to promote health and wellness.
  • Results: In the past 5 years, there has been a 38% increase in walking and biking among community members, and they have lost a combined total of 8,000 pounds.
AmeriCorps Community Health Workers Program
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Chronic diseases, diabetes, and opioid misuse has caused significant health disparities in Ohio and West Virginia.
  • Intervention: A program recruiting AmeriCorps members to serve as community health workers helps bring health services and education to local residents.
  • Results: As a result of the program, community members have reported weight loss, increased physical activity, reduction in medication, and improvements in self-management of chronic diseases.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Cavity Free at Three
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: In Colorado, 31% of children have experienced dental decay by the time they reach kindergarten. With several frontier and rural counties in Colorado considered dental deserts, options for oral healthcare are limited.
  • Intervention: Cavity Free at Three (CF3) works to improve access to preventive oral health for pregnant women and young children. While CF3 is a statewide effort, 87% of the program's target counties are considered rural or frontier.
  • Results: CF3 has trained over 5,000 medical and dental professionals in performing preventive dental health. The percentage of children who received oral healthcare from a medical or dental provider before the age of 2 has progressively increased, and fewer Colorado children have cavities now than they did 10 years ago.
Chuuk Women's Council Diabetes Prevention Program
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: A way to improve health of women in Chuuk, one of 4 states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Intervention: The Chuuk Women's Council offers a program that educates and trains women to prevent and manage diabetes, and adopt healthy lifestyles.
  • Results: The program's goal of gaining 30 participants in its second year has been exceeded. Participants have lost weight, been referred to needed medical services, and are training others in diabetes education.
Healthy Places for Healthy People in Monett
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Monett, Missouri's high tobacco use rates, lack of access to fresh foods, limited walkability and bikeability, and aging downtown infrastructure were all affecting residents' health.
  • Intervention: With planning assistance from Healthy Places for Healthy People, CoxHealth Monett led a coalition to revitalize downtown infrastructure and create opportunities for healthy living.
  • Results: Changes have helped to improve patient health, increase exercise opportunities, enhance downtown, and engage Monett's Hispanic population.
It's a Girl Thing: Making Proud Choices
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • Need: Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, in young girls were concerns for members of Union Parish, Louisiana.
  • Intervention: Union General Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, created the program It's a Girl Thing: Making Proud Choices to teach prevention, self-confidence, and personal responsibility to teen girls.
  • Results: Teen pregnancy rates in Union Parish have dropped by 18%, exceeding the program's initial goal of 5%. Graduation rates have also increased the longer girls remain in the program.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Oral Health Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed October 2019
  • Need: Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States.
  • Intervention: The Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center provides Oral Health education through the "Tooth Fairy's Helper" to elementary-aged children along the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
  • Results: Over 35,000 children have received oral health education through presentations in schools since 2006.